The much maligned wine that is a holdover from the early 80’s White Zinfandel, is slowly coming into its own and being taken seriously as a great beverage.
The first most important message is Rosé does not have to be sweet, it can be made in a number of styles, flavour profiles and from all different grape varietals. Grenache, Cinsault, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Gamay, nearly every wine grape has been used to make Rosé wine.
There are 3 common methods of producing Rosé. First and the most traditional, is the maceration method where the grapes are crushed and left to sit in their skins for a period of 12-24 hours which extracts some of the color. The juice is then pressed off the skins and seeds and fermented like a white wine.
Another method is called Saigne, a by-product of a technique to enhance the depth and flavour of a red wine. When the red grapes are crushed and before they begin to ferment a portion of the juice is bled off in an effort to concentrate the remaining juice. The juice that is bled off is then fermented into Rose. The depth of color may vary depending on the grape variety.
The third and final way to make a rose is to blend white wine and red wine together. Which is a technique that is pretty uncommon with still rose wines but can be found in the sparkling regions of Champagne, France.
On your next wine tasting tour, make sure and try the Rosé; you might be surprised that it’s not your mother’s White Zin!
Submitted by Blue Grouse Winery; One of Vancouver Island’s oldest estate vineyards and a long-time family-owned winery.